Heartening to see publications cracking down on rogue journalists taking amplob (literally, envelopes). Amplop journalism is where journalists are paid off by companies to write favorable stories. It used to be a common practice in Indonesia and some unscrupulous companies, journalists (and PR companies) still do it, but by and large no one who knows what they are doing these days pay the journalists – at least those from respectable publications – anymore.
Publications have com up ithcodes of conduct and banned their journalists from taking bribes. But there is usually very little news about disciplinary actions for errant journalists. So it is quiteencouraging to se the latest edition of Gatra carrying a story about hos the Kaltim Post has axed one of their journalists for receiving a payoff when writing about a suspected drug trafficker.
Good on the Kaltim Post for taking decisive action and may this serve as an example to journalists who might be tempted to use their positions of trust for illicit private gain.
But while the larger publications have begin cracking down on their errant reporters, there is another group of annoying “journalists”. We in the trade call them wartawan Bodrex. These are people who work for obscure publications or even no publication at all (but thay have name cards printed) and who go around to news events. They ask for money to either write something positive about the company or not to write something negative about them. They give everyone a headache, so that’s probably whey they are called Bodre (after the name of an aspirin).
It makes no sense to pay them because the publications they work for are so obscure that anything positive or negative that they write will have negligible impact. But you still have people who want to pay them.
These Bodrex journos are universally hated by bona fide journalists, PR people and clients so the best thing to do is refuse to pay them, politely but firmly. Once you do this a few times they know not to approach you anymore.